Brentford confident on Griffin Park stay if promoted to Premier League

Griffin Park
Brentford have played at Griffin Park since 1904

Brentford hope the Premier League will allow them to play their home games at Griffin Park if they are promoted through the Championship play-offs.

The 12,763-capacity stadium does not currently meet top-flight standards.

"I'm still convinced we can convince the Premier League," chief executive Mark Devlin told BBC London 94.9.

"We have got an agreement in principle with another club if we need to groundshare. We are focused on bringing Griffin Park up to scratch."

Brentford, who have not played in the top flight since 1946-47, face Middlesbrough on Friday (19:45 BST) in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final tie.

Brentford's previous play-off form
Brentford have suffered defeat in their seven previous play-offs campaigns, and have lost three play-off finals
All of those final defeats have been in the third tier; against Crewe in 1996-97, Stoke in 2001-02 and Yeovil in 2012-13

Griffin Park, Brentford's home since 1904, falls short of several of the Premier League's criteria, which include the size of dressing rooms and media working areas, levels of floodlighting, and the provision of undersoil heating.

"I've said all along that our preferential route was to keep the club at Griffin Park," Devlin said.

"We have already put some plans in place so certain things will take place, irrespective of whatever happens to us.

"There were already plans to dig up the pitch and install brand new drainage. Hopefully we can meet the Premier League criteria or get very close to most of the key criteria."

Brentford submitted a plan to the Premier League board at the end of January detailing how they will meet their requirements, as is demanded of all Championship clubs.

The Taylor Report, published in 1990 in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, also recommended that all top-flight sides have all-seater stadiums but the Bees currently have terracing behind both goals.

Work to replace the terracing with seating would reduce the capacity at Griffin Park by around eight or nine hundred.

An artist's impression of Brentford's new stadium at Lionel Road
Brentford have planning permission to build a new stadium at Lionel Road, but are not expected to move in until the summer of 2017 at the earliest

However, with the west London club set to move to a new stadium at Lionel Road in the next three years, Devlin hopes Brentford may be given special dispensation on some criteria.

"I think they'll see two things in our favour; a willingness to spend some money upgrading Griffin Park - especially given that we are going to be moving into a state-of-the-art new stadium - and also a lot of people would probably think if we are promoted we will be a 'one season wonder', even if they would not admit it," he added.

"I hope they will be sensible in terms of what we can do with the ground; floodlights, media facilities and seating and give us some kind of dispensation.

"They have indicated they will work with the club, which is why I am confident we can remain at Griffin Park if we are able to get to the Premier League."

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